Apple AR/VR glasses have been delayed again - report
Apple's VR-AR glasses planned for 2022 are to be postponed by at least a few months. The reason is particularly interesting: Apple has problems with the complex technology.
According to Bloomberg's Apple reporter Mark Gurman, Apple's VR glasses with AR features were actually supposed to be unveiled in the summer at Apple's developer conference WWDC and released later in the year, at least for developers. Those plans are now obsolete, Gurman reports, citing sources in Apple's supply chain familiar with the project.
Apple struggles with overheating
According to Gurman's sources, the market launch of Apple Glasses will be delayed by "at least a few months." The reporter cites issues during development as the reason: Apple's XR team is struggling with overheating related to the numerous cameras installed and the software.
According to previous reports, the Apple glasses have more than a dozen cameras and a LiDAR scanner for spatial tracking, gaze tracking, hand tracking, and environmental scanning for 3D-AR.
It is unclear whether the glasses work completely standalone, or whether they can only reach their full performance with an external player. The fact that Apple's engineers are struggling with overheating could speak for a completely standalone solution. Apple design legend Jonathan Ive, no longer with the company since 2019, is said to have voted for standalone glasses for comfort reasons.
Apple glasses will probably not come until 2023
According to Gurman's sources, the heat problems mean that the glasses will probably not appear until 2023. However, a late-year launch does not appear to be completely off the table: Apple is said to be in further contact with retailers for a late 2022 launch.
The presentation should still happen this year, but probably no longer in the summer at WWDC, where there should at most be a preview of software features. WWDC 2023 will then be fully focused on the development of VR and AR apps, for which Apple plans to have its own store. As usual, Apple does not comment on the rumors.
Apple investors were hardly impressed by the news: The share price was only slightly weaker in a difficult market environment. However, the company does not expect big sales for XR for the time being anyway: According to Gurman's sources, seven to ten million units will be sold in the first year. That's decent by XR standards, but compared to Apple's other markets, it's a marginal note at best. In any case, the first VR-AR hybrid glasses should only be an intermediate step towards powerful, slim AR glasses that are suitable for everyday use.
When will Apple's XR odyssey end?
The new postponement adds another chapter to Apple's XR odyssey: Various VR and AR prototypes have been in development since 2015. Originally, the first product was supposed to be launched in 2021.
Meanwhile, there have been repeated reports and leaks about fundamental changes to prototypes and scheduling. This shows how challenging it is to develop XR glasses that meet Apple's demands for design, comfort, and function.
Apple competitors like Meta and others experimenting with the target audience together have launched numerous devices during this time. However, many did not have the success they had hoped for. Meta has probably only been on its way to a healthy VR ecosystem since Quest 2. There have been numerous headset flops like Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Daydream VR, some of which are thought to have been more of a deterrent.
Read more about Apple XR:
- Apple vs. Meta: Apple doesn't like the Metaverse
- Apple Tech Goggles: Compact like ski goggles - but with add-on device?
- Apple and Meta wage war over XR skilled workers